You cannot live on vegetable food solely

One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;” and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.   Thoreau, Walden

Emerson, Thoreau, Gandhi, Lewis

“All of the participants on the ride had been taught the discipline and philosophy of nonviolence, but those of us who participated in the Nashville movement had benefited from gifted teachers—Rev. Jim Lawson, himself a conscientious objector in the Korean War who had traveled to India to walk in the footsteps of Gandhi, and Rev. Kelly Miller Smith, a learned and esteemed church leader in Nashville. They taught us the philosophy of Gandhi, Thoreau, Emerson, Plato, Aristotle, and others to illuminate the lineage of thinkers who believed in the inalienable rights of humankind. We had also participated in role playing that prepared us mentally and physically for this moment.”

John Lewis — Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change.

Thomas Merton On Thoreau

After those beautiful pages on morning and on being awake, Thoreau writes in his Walden:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the es- sential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

He adds mysteriously, “nor did I wish to practice resignation unless it was quite necessary.” I suppose he means he did not intend to be resigned to any- thing like a compromise with life, unless it could not be avoided.

Thomas Merton December 6, 1950